Without a doubt, when moms get together, and given enough time at that, birth stories will emerge. It inevitably becomes a battle for whose birth story is the goriest, the hardest, the longest, the craziest. I lose on all accounts, well, maybe except for the crazy category. But more than anything else, I get the best side eye/stink eye responses when I share mine. In summary: 6 hours, 2 pushes, self-delivery, unplanned home birth (without midwives).
No, this is not meant to be a humble brag of any sort. When I told my childhood friends this, their response was “Of course you did, you overachiever”. I don’t deny that accusation (determination is in my blood), but not with birthing my first baby. I’ve always chalked that experience up to the fact that I was driving blind and my animal instincts took over. Elliotte wanted out. She was done, done, done. With more and more births I have been able to witness and photograph, I realize I am one lucky Mother to have a uneventful (albeit crazy) first birth. In comparison, this birth story I am about to share was looooooong. No joke, 3 days going on 4 kind of long.
In summary: 70 hours, induction, homeopathic measures, multiple-day hospital visits, a lot of doula and midwife consults.
By the time I met them at the hospital, this mama was already at 42 hours from the first sign of early labour. Her and her husband and amazing birth team (shoutout to the incredible Debra Woods and the kick-ass team of The Midwifery Group) persevered through, with a seemingly progressing labor, only to have it stall out. This marathon picked up right back after a night of rest with morphine, only to result in exhausting all possibilities and a recommended caesarian section.
We can all celebrate the end result of a healthy baby boy, weighing in at almost 9 lbs. More importantly, we need to recognize the physical and emotional rollercoaster that these parents have been through in order to make the best decision for their baby. There were hugs and tears to show for the crests and valleys of this long road endured. Congratulations D & M! Baby J is your gift and will always be a reminder of what you have overcome to be three!
Felicia is a Vancouver Documentary Photographer who wants to tell the story of everyday people and celebrate their mundane equally with their milestones. Contact her to find your family’s edition of life story for your visual diary! To follow more of Felicia’s work, connect over at @feliciachangphoto on Instagram.